EU leaders sign UK withdrawal deal

Brussels, Jan 24 (IANS) | Publish Date: 1/24/2020 10:23:30 AM IST

Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, the heads of the European Commission and Council, on Friday signed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, ahead of the country’s exit from the EU on January 31.

The development comes a day after Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday approved the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, and on January 29, the European Parliament is expected to vote for it too, the BBC reported.

Following the signing, Michel said in a tweet “things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain. “We start a new chapter as partners and allies,” he added. Michel Barnier, the EU Commission official who spent more than three years negotiating Brexit, stood behind the two EU leaders at the signing ceremony. 

 The UK has agreed to abide by EU rules during a transition period until the end of the year.

By 2021, the UK aims to have agreed a deal on future ties.

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